Thursday, 17 December 2009
The Christmas tree
An Ancient Symbol
Thousands or years ago, there were people who believed that evergreen trees were magical. Even in winter, when all the other trees and greenery were brown and bare, the evergreen stayed strong and green. People saw the evergreen as a symbol of life and as a sure sign that sunshine and spring would soon return. Candles, or the electric lights we use to decorate our trees today, are also an ancient symbol. They represent the light of spring triumphing over the darkness of winter.
In ancient Rome, people decorated their homes and their temples with greenery during a special December feast. It was a happy time. No battles could be fought, the schools were closed, and people everywhere joined in the carnival-like atmosphere and gave each other presents.
The Modern Tree
So when did the Christmas tree go indoors? Legend has it that the tradition was begun by Martin Luther in Germany. He was a monk and church reformer who lived from 1483 to 1546. According to the legend, Luther was returning home one wintry night when he saw the stars twinkling in the sky through the tree branches. Luther was amazed by the sight, and when he arrived home, he was eager to tell his family about it. To help them understand, he went to the woods and cut down a small fir tree. Luther brought it indoors and decorated it with candles, which represented the stars he had seen.
The custom spread in Germany, and from there all over the world. In England, the Christmas tree first appeared when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, who was German. In 1841, Albert set up a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle near London to remind him of his homeland. The Christmas tree custom was brought to the United States by people from England as well as by many German immigrants who came in the 1800's. Whatever its origin, the Christmas tree is a beautiful symbol for everyone who celebrates Christmas.
The Legend of the First Christmas Tree
The night of the Saviour's birth, all the living creatures, both flora and fauna, came to Bethlehem with gifts. The olive tree brought its fruit and the palm its dates. But the little fir tree had no gift and was so tired it couldn't resist when the big trees pushed it into the background and hid it from view. But then a nearby angel took pity and commanded a cluster of stars to come and rest on its delicate boughs. When the Baby Jesus beheld this lovely lighted tree, He smiled and blessed it, declaring henceforth that fir trees should always be filled with lights at Christmastime to please little children.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Back to Nature
For the last few months Englishman Nick Weston has been living in a treehouse in Sussex. He doesn’t go to work, but he does hunt and gather his own food and he washes his clothes in a nearby river.
Nick Weston : There’s a couple of things that are very poisonous like hemlock water dropwort, which grows in rivers. It was growing downriver there, I think it’s disappeared now, with the end of summer coming along. It grows in the ditch over there and in that ditch there’s also a lot of watercress growing but, you know, you have to be able to make that distinction between the two. And also, when you’re picking stuff, you have to be careful, like if I just grabbed a handful of watercress without really thinking about it and there was a bit hemlock growing amongst it, I’d sit there and eat it and would be dead by the afternoon, so you do have to be very careful!
IT SURE BEATS WORKING!
But life in a treehouse does have its advantages:
Nick Weston: I think the best things about living down here is probably not having to go to work and, you know, have to have a boss telling you what to do, and... and not having to deal with things like public transport and commuting and then all the unnecessary stuff you have to pay, like council tax for people to take your bins out and things like that. I mean, all my stuff is either composted down here or I burn it on the fire, it’s just mostly things like this, like food waste. So, yeah, there’s a lot of things I think we pay for in this country that we don’t need to, but I think the other thing that’s really good about... is just being out here and being in the middle of the wood and living your life, I suppose, with your bare hands and creating an existence for yourself and sustaining that, but, yeah, I mean it’s great, especially when it’s nice weather. When it’s not nice weather, it’s all right, ‘cause you could just sit in the treehouse and read.
Speak up - November 2009
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
The temple of Ta Prohm was used as a location in the film Tomb Raider. Although the film took visual liberties with other Angkorian temples, its scenes of Ta Prohm were quite faithful to the temple's actual appearance, and made use of its eerie qualities.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Saturday, 3 October 2009
The project week in Sarnico (Italy) was a great success! Everything was prepared very well! Another unforgettable experience for our students!
A traditional item in the programme of our project meetings is the planting of a tree. A young olive tree was planted in front of our host school Instituto Serafino Riva by headmaster Giuseppe Lillo, assisted by some students.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Saturday, 26 September 2009
I looked and I looked,
all I see is you being destroyed,
cut, burnt by people.
I cannot imagine life without you.
You shelter me, feed meä
I thank you for that.
Trees, our trees,
Oh my people, save our trees
and use solar cookers instead.
Let our trees grow and be free
from charcoal makers and buyers
so that we can live a secure life.
by Shukria Dini
Tree in the Wind
A tree stands firm in the wind
Its roots grip the Somali soil
and holds together the source of pastoral life.
by Jim Lindsay, Bosaso, Somalia, 13 November 2005
TreesShade in the hot, hot sunäShelter for me and for birdsä.Protection for soilä.Space for lifeä..Trees for all.
by Pamela Collett, inspired by the world first, Somalia leads the way,Horn Relief and Sun Fire Cooking's Bender Bayla Solar Villages Project13 November 2005, Bosaso, Somalia
I give you shade
I provide fodder for your animals
I hold the soil so grass can grow
When I die I will give you fuel
Oh, charcoal cutter, why do you kill me so young.
The trees are cut down
The land is devastated
The people are in mourning.
The youth are in despair
Where is our future?
Where are our trees?
Pamela Collett, 15 November 2005, Bosaso Somalia
Blue Sky AboveWhy so much killing?Why so much violence?When the sky is so blue.O, Somalis, look up.
by Pamela CollettNovember 22 2005, on the road to Bender Bayla from BosasoTsunami
Whitecaps on a turquoise seaRolling waves rushing to silver sandGolden cliffs climbing highSqueezed between is Bender BaylaLiving by the seaDying by the sea.
by Jim Lindsay, in Bender Bayla, Somalia, 24 November 2005
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Anne frank about the chestnut tree in their garden
“Our chestnut tree is in full blossom. It is covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year...” - Anne Frank, 13 May 1944
Anne Frank often looked from the attic window at the chestnut tree behind the secret annex. She wrote about it in her diary. Now, the more than 150 year old tree is diseased, but online it will live on.
The academy award winning actress and screenplay writer Emma Thompson officially launched the Anne Frank House’s new ‘Anne Frank Tree’ website (www.annefranktree.com).
The website, in six different languages, offers people around the world a platform to express their affinity with Anne Frank. For many people Anne Frank symbolizes their hope for a world in which people can live together respectfully and in freedom, regardless of their origin, faith or political beliefs. The core of the website ‘Anne Frank Tree’ is the chestnut tree that Anne Frank could see from the attic window in the hiding place. Emma Thompson placed the first leaf with her name in the virtual tree.
Leave your leaf in the virtual chestnut tree, forward it and keep Anne Frank’s ideals alive.
What does your leaf represent?
Anne Frank was in hiding in the secret annex for over two years. During the day she had to be very quiet and she could never go outside. She yearned for freedom. Anne had a clear opinion about many things. She wrote about them in her diary. Writing made her less sad and it gave her the courage to carry on.
Anne wanted to be useful to others after the war. Not only to the people around her, but also to people she did not know. Anne did not survive the Holocaust but her diary has inspired millions of people all over the world to do their best for a better world. Anne’s wish came true after all.
With your leaf you can show that you too have been inspired by the diary of Anne Frank.
Anne Frank Tree
(information based on www.annefrank.org and www.annefranktree.com)
Friday, 26 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
The amazing baobab (Adansonia) or monkey bread tree can grow up to nearly 30m tall and 11 m wide. Their defining characteristic: their swollen trunk are actually water storage – the baobab tree can store as much as 120,000 l of water to endure harsh drought conditions.
Baobab trees are native to Madagascar (it’s the country’s national tree!), mainland Africa, and Australia. A cluster of “the grandest of all” baobab trees can be found in the Baobab Avenue, near Morondava, in Madagascar.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Thursday, 4 June 2009
Well,.. in California (USA) it's still possible! If you drive north on Route 101 you'll reach the old growth Redwood Groves of Sequoia Sempervirens.
They are the biggest trees in the world: the giant redwoods of Northern California. Unlike our own local oaks, these wizened sentinels -- many living when Columbus found the New World -- are big enough to drive through. That is, if a car-sized hole has been bored in the center of them first.
In the last century some of them were unfortunately cut down because of safety reasons. Some of them were saved for prosperity in private parks, but a few can still be visited.
The Wawona Tree at Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, CA. The tunnel was completed in 1881. Unfortunately the tree fell in 1969.
The famous "Wawona" tree was 227 feet tall, and 90 feet in circumference. In the Mariposa Grove more than six hundred giant Sequoias have been growing here for centuries....the earth's largest and oldest trees.
The opening in the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree was carved in the 1930's. At approximately 6' wide by 6'9" high there is ample space for the cars of today to pass through the tunnel. The Chandelier Tree can be found at Legett, California.
The Tunnel Tree at Sequoia National Park.
The Coolidge Tree was located in Underwood Park, about 185 miles North of San Francisco on Redwood Highway. Unfortunately the Coolidge Tree was cut down.
The Shrine Tree at Myers Flat, California can still be visited in season too. Steel cables securely anchor the tree. In 2003, the owners pointed out they hadn't detected any measurable movement in their monolith, or anything that would discourage tourists from coming to Myers Flat.
The Drive-Thru Stump or Drive-Way Stump, located ath the Redwood Shop in Pepperwood, California, was blown up with dynamite after World War II.
Sunday, 31 May 2009
Dede Kosawa is one of the world's most extraordinary people. He lives in a remote village in Indonesia with his two children, trying to care for them.
Dede, a former fisherman, has an incredible skin condition: he has root like structures growing out of his body - branches that can grow up to 5cm a year and which protrude from his hands and feet, and welts covering his whole body.
Check out the VIDEO.
And another VIDEO about his diagnosis and possible treatment.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
With sudden ecstasy;
I have given back, before I die,
Some thanks for every lovely tree
That dead men grew for me"
~ Pablo Neruda
group for the under appreciated trees of the world.
no rules, no limits.
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
(Juuli Viitala, Juuso Mäenpää, Anni Yliaho, Laura Heinimaa, Ida Kylmänen, Laura Mölsä, Lauri Pelander, Annika Vuorenmaa, Nina Hyvönen, Eerika Susanna Ilkka, Markus Mäkelä, Atte Hakola, Essi Kataja-aho, Mari Äijälä, Riina Mäkinen, Juha Sainio, Riikka Kaipainen, Kirsi Isaoranta)
Ponteareas - Spain: I.E.S. PEDRA DE AGUA
(Carolina Sant’Ana Arjones, Rebeca Cuevas González, Sheyla Adriana da Silva Cerqueira , Anita Lorenzo Garrote, Iria Cabaleiro, Manuel Ángel Mouriño Presa, Adrian, Pili Ortega, Mina, Paz)
Sarnico - Italy: I.S.S. SERAFINO RIVA
(Giada Zanini, Cristina Rota, Matteo Viscardi, Andrea Alberti, Ilaria Mussinelli, Giuseppe Platania, Lucia Svanetti)
Dordrecht - The Netherlands: WELLANTCOLLEGE VMBO
(Jurrie Tielman, Gwendolien Heinen, Hans Kloppert, Quincy Ponte, Brenda van de Velde, Nelly van Aanholt, Ráchel Poppema and only half of Hugo Bakker)
Porto - Portugal: ESCOLA ARTÍSTICA E PROFISSIONAL ÁRVORE
(Ana Catarina Pereira, Horácio Gomes Lourenço, Alice Eça Guimaraes)
Monday, 25 May 2009
Thursday, 21 May 2009
WINNER Best short film - International Fest of Cinema & Technology
WINNER - Best film - High Desert shorts International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Phangan Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Reel Earth Festival
Directed by Brent Gudgel at Chronicle Project.